The THREE in me…

Exploring the Ennegram at AC3…personally

The only thing harder than failing is succeeding. Failure feels bad, but it tends to bring activity to a halt. After all, when you lose in the play-offs, your team goes home and watches. If you don’t get the job, you don’t have to work! Failure creates it’s own opportunities even in the midst of pain and loss. The THREE in me needs to learn this.

Success, however rarely leads to any kind of rest. Success tends to breed further effort. There is a trope amongst coaches, managers and leaders of all kinds that states, “People are lazy, and if they work themselves to a place of relative success or comfort, they’ll stop trying. You can’t rest on your success! After you win, you work harder!”

“It’s not enough to win – you’ve got to eliminate the competition!”

“You’ve got to protect your winnings.”

“Our goal is to dominate.”

Only winning is worthy?

The THREE in me can relate. But even more attractive than success is fame. They are different things. Mutually exclusive, but both highly motivating for THREES. Fame is self explanatory: A lot of people know you. To some that sounds like a living hell. Those people are not THREES.

What if AC3 as a church is a THREE? What if our “failure” to succeed in becoming a big church (famous) has created an opportunity for us to be something even more “successful”? What if our “failure” to be famous keeps us from boarding the run-away train of fame which seems to always end in a train wreck for others?

“There’s no excuse for failure! Quitters never win!”

Of course that could just be making excuses, too. That’s what my high school football coach would say. That’s what Tony Robbins and Oprah Winfrey would say. Hmmm. They’re not here, though.

What if a THREE learned to be satisfied? What if resting, peace and saying “good enough” were not character flaws or “quitting”? How would a church look if it focused on doing great things, excellent things for God…and then sat back and simply watched?

What if Jesus words of paradox were meant to be taken literally? Matthew 16:25 “If you cling to this life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”

What if we found true, eternal success as we embraced failure?

Be sure to join us at AC3 for ongoing Enneagram series, Saturdays at 6:00 and Sundays at 9:00 and 10:30


57 year old husband of 31 years, father of two, drumming Gardner.